Excerpted from the interesting Early Retirement page of Philip Greenspun, a fellow who says he retired at age 37.
Ask a wage slave what he’d like to accomplish. Chances are the response will be something like “I’d start every day at the gym and work out for two hours until I was as buff as Brad Pitt. Then I’d practice the piano for three hours. I’d become fluent in Mandarin so that I could be prepared to understand the largest transformation of our time. I’d really learn how to handle a polo pony. I’d learn to fly a helicopter. I’d finish the screenplay that I’ve been writing and direct a production of it in HDTV.”
Why hasn’t he accomplished all of those things? “Because I’m chained to this desk 50 hours per week at this horrible [insurance|programming|government|administrative|whatever] job.
So he has no doubt that he would get all these things done if he didn’t have to work? “Absolutely none. If I didn’t have the job, I would be out there living the dream.”
Suppose that the guy cashes in his investments and does retire. What do we find? He is waking up at 9:30 am, surfing the Web, sorting out the cable TV bill, watching DVDs, talking about going to the gym, eating Doritos, and maybe accomplishing one of his stated goals.
Retirement forces you to stop thinking that it is your job that holds you back. For most people the depressing truth is that they aren’t that organized, disciplined, or motivated.
Could this be me? Nah, my goal is to be a beach bum and do nothing.